Ben Linus Would Rather Be Dead [Is Dead]

I’m sitting here, 20 minutes after the ending of tonight’s episode of Lost, Dead Is Dead, wondering what to say.

As with any episode of Lost featuring Ben or Locke, it was a solid episode.  Throw in some exposition about Ben’s past along with hints at some longtime island mysteries, and you have an awesome episode.

I was on the edge of my seat all night, and before I knew it, this episode was over.  And I couldn’t really think of anything to say about it.  So I’ll start with this:

If, like Ben, at the end, we’re judged by the hairstyles we had earlier in our life, I’m in trouble.

And if you’ve ever seen the Superman curl that I had earlier in life, that’s big trouble.

But enough about me. Back to Lost…

So Ben has been judged.   Through the flashbacks, we came to see how a teenage Ben (who must have been auditioning for a part in the New Otherton Players’ spring production of Oliver with that hair) “acquired” Alex, was somewhat responsible for Charles’ banishment from the island and tried getting even by killing Penny.

His only major sin was Alex’s death, something he told Charles was a sacrifice for the island that he was willing to make.  One of Ben’s contemporaries might even say she was “a sacrifice the island demanded.”

While seen through Ben’s eyes, that is a major sin.  She was an innocent (one who, through his actions, had a longer life than she would have had otherwise). Still, he could have prevented her death.  But he chose instead to protect the island.  Yet the island forgives him, but sentences him to a fate that for Ben, may be worse than death:  He has to follow John Locke now.

Some other things:

-The events with the Ajira 316 survivors are intriguing.  Caesar is dead.  Too bad.  I never liked him much any way.  And now that she has some guns, Illana (who we were told was working for Avellino, an associate of Widmore) is in charge, asking what’s in the statue’s shadow.  I’m guessing we’ll find out soon who was shooting at Locke, Sawyer, Juliet and everyone else in the canoes a few weeks ago.

-We find out more about when and why Charles left.  Contrary to what he said in The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham, it looks like he left because he broke the rules, not because he was “tricked.”  I do have to admit that my theory of Ben tricking him into turning the wheel was wrong.  Still, because he wasn’t entirely honest with Locke, I stand by my belief that he’s one of the “bad guys.”

-I have to go and watch that conversation between Ben and Charles on the dock a few more times.  I think it went something like: Charles had a life off the island (while we know that Ben’s been off the island before).  Charles was jealous that Ben had Alex.  Ben swore the island was his priority, making him a better fit to be leader.  But be careful what you wish for, because you might have to sacrifice it for the island.

-I enjoyed all the looks at people in the past, but some of the wigs were horrible.

-I think Sun would have gone along with anything Locke or Ben said.  I know you want to find your husband who’s living 30 years in the past, but we have to go track down a smoke monster first.

-How did Locke know Ben needed to visit the temple?

-On so many levels, the scene with Ben in the temple’s inner chamber was a call back to parts of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

-Was it me, or after “judging” Ben, as the smoke recessed back into the holes, in addition to the normal smokey noises, was there also a laugh?

What did you think?

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3 thoughts on “Ben Linus Would Rather Be Dead [Is Dead]

  1. The one thing that bothers me is that I see no evidence in Ben’s character to show that he will obey the island at this point. To think that he will now just follow Locke without trying to usurp his authority is not realistic. Surely the island is smarter than I am, though.

  2. Ed: No idea. Maybe this one will actually lead somewhere.

    Rich: I see where you’re coming from. But ever since his first scene when he was trapped in the net (despite the fact believing he was evil), I’ve been drinking his Kool Aid. I think you’re right- he’s going to try and usurp Locke’s authority- but will do it in a way so no harm comes to him. If anything, Ben’s first instinct is self preservation, and he knows all too well what the island is capable of.

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